Department of Veterinary Pathobiology

Leslie A. Lyons
Gilbreath-McLorn Endowed Professor of Comparative Medicine

  • Ph.D. 1991, University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health – Human Genetics
  • M.S. 1987, University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health – Human Genetics
  • B.S. 1985, University of Pittsburgh - Biochemistry


Building Address: E109 Vet Med Building
Phone Number: 573-882-9777
Lab Website:
Facebook: Lyons Feline Genetics Lab
Lyons Lab and 99 Lives Donations (MU GiveDirect)

Research Emphasis: Dr. Lyons’ long-standing research focuses on domestic cat genetics, particularly developing biomedical models. Her genetic interests are broad, not focusing on any one disease, including various health concerns and all organs systems. Her laboratory has identified over 30 mutations in over 25 genes including 21 diseases, cat AB / B blood type (2) and recently 2 diseases in wild felids. Dr. Lyons launched the 99 Lives Cat Genome Sequencing Initiative – an effort to have deep coverage on cats with inherited diseases and as a SNP resource for the community. During her tenure at the NCI, she worked closely with theriogenologists to produce a feline interspecies backcross between domestic cats and Asian Leopard cats (Bengal cats) as a gene mapping resource, which are now useful for phasing of whole genome assemblies. She continues to support assisted reproduction studies in cats and she has cryopreserved many cat biomedical models. Dr. Lyons works closely with veterinarians to firstly define genetic diseases. The veterinarians and clinicians then become partners in the genetic studies. She typically collaborates with veterinarians and clinicians around the world and publishes in veterinary and genetics journals and especially journals that focus on organ systems. Specific diseases remain of high priority, including polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and heritable blindness. She looks forward to developing drug and gene therapies and translational efforts, for one or more of these abnormalities to better develop the cat as an animal model for human disease. At UC Davis, Dr. Lyons had a partial research position at the California National Primate Research Center, producing 13 manuscripts via independent and collaborative studies. She has produced seven publications on forensics, over a dozen papers with significant disease defining and clinical components, six projects supporting reproductive studies, worked with over ten different species and analyzed mtDNA from cat mummies as part of a National Geographic Explore production – The Science of Cats.

Teaching Responsibilities:

Dr. Lyons mentors and trains undergraduate and graduate students in various MU programs. Paid, for credit and volunteer research internships are available through the Lyons Laboratory.


Pre-Veterinary Medicine (PVM) and AgScholars Programs -

Veterinary Students:

Veterinary Research Scholars Program -

Graduate Students:

Doctor of Philosophy

Genetics Area Program -
Pathobiology Area Program -
Animal Sciences -

Master’s of Science / Public Health:

Biomedical Sciences with emphasis in Veterinary Sciences –

Online MS Program -

Master’s of Public Health with emphasis in Veterinary Public Health –

Animal Sciences -


Graduate Certificate in Veterinary Sciences -

Lyons Laboratory Bibliography:

Publications of the things we do find links here -


1: Carlisle GK, Johnson RA, Koch CS, Lyons LA, Wang Z, Bibbo J, Cheak-Zamora N.

Exploratory Study of Fecal Cortisol, Weight, and Behavior as Measures of Stress

and Welfare in Shelter Cats During Assimilation Into Families of Children With

Autism Spectrum Disorder. Front Vet Sci. 2021 Sep 6;8:643803. doi:

10.3389/fvets.2021.643803. PMID: 34552969; PMCID: PMC8450387.


2: Lyons LA. Cats - telomere to telomere and nose to tail. Trends Genet. 2021

Oct;37(10):865-867. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2021.06.001. Epub 2021 Jul 28. PMID:



3: de Groot M, Anderson H, Bauer H, Bauguil C, Bellone RR, Brugidou R, Buckley

RM, Dovč P, Forman O, Grahn RA, Kock L, Longeri M, Mouysset-Geniez S, Qiu J,

Sofronidis G, van der Goor LHP, Lyons LA. Standardization of a SNP panel for

parentage verification and identification in the domestic cat

(Felis silvestris catus). Anim Genet. 2021 Oct;52(5):675-682. doi:

10.1111/age.13100. Epub 2021 Jun 18. PMID: 34143521; PMCID: PMC8519126.


4: Anderson LM, Fox DB, Chesney KL, Coates JR, Torres BT, Lyons LA. Skeletal

Manifestations of Heritable Disproportionate Dwarfism in Cats as Determined by

Radiography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol. 2021

Sep;34(5):327-337. doi: 10.1055/s-0041-1730355. Epub 2021 Jun 3. PMID: 34082456.


5: Rodney AR, Buckley RM, Fulton RS, Fronick C, Richmond T, Helps CR, Pantke P,

Trent DJ, Vernau KM, Munday JS, Lewin AC, Middleton R, Lyons LA, Warren WC. A

domestic cat whole exome sequencing resource for trait discovery. Sci Rep. 2021

Mar 30;11(1):7159. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-86200-7. PMID: 33785770; PMCID:



6: Lyons LA, Buckley RM, Harvey RJ; 99 Lives Cat Genome Consortium. Mining the

99 Lives Cat Genome Sequencing Consortium database implicates genes and variants

for the Ticked locus in domestic cats (Felis catus). Anim Genet. 2021

Jun;52(3):321-332. doi: 10.1111/age.13059. Epub 2021 Mar 29. PMID: 33780570;

PMCID: PMC8252059.


7: Bredemeyer KR, Harris AJ, Li G, Zhao L, Foley NM, Roelke-Parker M, O'Brien

SJ, Lyons LA, Warren WC, Murphy WJ. Ultracontinuous Single Haplotype Genome

Assemblies for the Domestic Cat (Felis catus) and Asian Leopard Cat

(Prionailurus bengalensis). J Hered. 2021 Mar 29;112(2):165-173. doi:

10.1093/jhered/esaa057. PMID: 33305796; PMCID: PMC8006817.


8: Carlisle GK, Johnson RA, Wang Z, Bibbo J, Cheak-Zamora N, Lyons LA.

Exploratory Study of Cat Adoption in Families of Children with Autism: Impact on

Children's Social Skills and Anxiety. J Pediatr Nurs. 2021 May-Jun;58:28-35.

doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2020.11.011. Epub 2020 Dec 6. PMID: 33290937.


9: Lyons LA. Precision medicine in cats-The right biomedical model may not be

the mouse! PLoS Genet. 2020 Dec 8;16(12):e1009177. doi:

10.1371/journal.pgen.1009177. PMID: 33290388; PMCID: PMC7723241.


10: Buckley RM, Davis BW, Brashear WA, Farias FHG, Kuroki K, Graves T, Hillier

LW, Kremitzki M, Li G, Middleton RP, Minx P, Tomlinson C, Lyons LA, Murphy WJ,

Warren WC. A new domestic cat genome assembly based on long sequence reads

empowers feline genomic medicine and identifies a novel gene for dwarfism. PLoS

Genet. 2020 Oct 22;16(10):e1008926. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008926. PMID:

33090996; PMCID: PMC7581003.


11: Lyons LA, Buckley RM. Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing for Domestic Cats.

Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2020 Sep;50(5):991-1000. doi:

10.1016/j.cvsm.2020.05.004. Epub 2020 Jul 11. PMID: 32665138.


12: Buckley RM, Lyons LA. Precision/Genomic Medicine for Domestic Cats. Vet Clin

North Am Small Anim Pract. 2020 Sep;50(5):983-990. doi:

10.1016/j.cvsm.2020.05.005. Epub 2020 Jul 8. PMID: 32653264.


13: Buckley RM, Gandolfi B, Creighton EK, Pyne CA, Bouhan DM, LeRoy ML, Senter

DA, Gobble JR, Abitbol M, Lyons LA; 99 Lives Consortium. Werewolf, There Wolf:

Variants in <i>Hairless</i> Associated with Hypotrichia and Roaning in the Lykoi

Cat Breed. Genes (Basel). 2020 Jun 22;11(6):682. doi: 10.3390/genes11060682.

PMID: 32580512; PMCID: PMC7348984.


14: Yu Y, Creighton EK, Buckley RM, Lyons LA; 99 Lives Consortium. A Deletion in

<i>GDF7</i> is Associated with a Heritable Forebrain Commissural Malformation

Concurrent with Ventriculomegaly and Interhemispheric Cysts in Cats. Genes

(Basel). 2020 Jun 19;11(6):672. doi: 10.3390/genes11060672. PMID: 32575532;

PMCID: PMC7349246.


15: Katz ML, Buckley RM, Biegen V, O'Brien DP, Johnson GC, Warren WC, Lyons LA.

Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis in a Domestic Cat Associated with a DNA Sequence

Variant That Creates a Premature Stop Codon in <i>CLN6</i>. G3 (Bethesda). 2020

Aug 5;10(8):2741-2751. doi: 10.1534/g3.120.401407. PMID: 32518081; PMCID:



16: Cogné B, Latypova X, Senaratne LDS, Martin L, Koboldt DC, Kellaris G, Fievet

L, Le Meur G, Caldari D, Debray D, Nizon M, Frengen E, Bowne SJ; 99 Lives

Consortium, Cadena EL, Daiger SP, Bujakowska KM, Pierce EA, Gorin M, Katsanis N,

Bézieau S, Petersen-Jones SM, Occelli LM, Lyons LA, Legeai-Mallet L, Sullivan

LS, Davis EE, Isidor B. Mutations in the Kinesin-2 Motor KIF3B Cause an

Autosomal-Dominant Ciliopathy. Am J Hum Genet. 2020 Jun 4;106(6):893-904. doi:

10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.04.005. Epub 2020 May 7. PMID: 32386558; PMCID: PMC7273529.


17: von Thaden A, Nowak C, Tiesmeyer A, Reiners TE, Alves PC, Lyons LA, Mattucci

F, Randi E, Cragnolini M, Galián J, Hegyeli Z, Kitchener AC, Lambinet C, Lucas

JM, Mölich T, Ramos L, Schockert V, Cocchiararo B. Applying genomic data in

wildlife monitoring: Development guidelines for genotyping degraded samples with

reduced single nucleotide polymorphism panels. Mol Ecol Resour. 2020

May;20(3):10.1111/1755-0998.13136. doi: 10.1111/1755-0998.13136. Epub 2020 Jan

30. PMID: 31925943; PMCID: PMC7199164.


18: Buckley RM, Grahn RA, Gandolfi B, Herrick JR, Kittleson MD, Bateman HL,

Newsom J, Swanson WF, Prieur DJ, Lyons LA. Assisted reproduction mediated

resurrection of a feline model for Chediak-Higashi syndrome caused by a large

duplication in LYST. Sci Rep. 2020 Jan 9;10(1):64. doi:

10.1038/s41598-019-56896-9. PMID: 31919397; PMCID: PMC6952417.


19: Jaffey JA, Reading NS, Giger U, Abdulmalik O, Buckley RM, Johnstone S, Lyons

LA; 99 Lives Cat Genome Consortium. Clinical, metabolic, and genetic

characterization of hereditary methemoglobinemia caused by cytochrome

b<sub>5</sub> reductase deficiency in cats. J Vet Intern Med. 2019

Nov;33(6):2725-2731. doi: 10.1111/jvim.15637. Epub 2019 Oct 25. PMID: 31650629;

PMCID: PMC6872605.


20: Torres JA, Kruger SL, Broderick C, Amarlkhagva T, Agrawal S, Dodam JR, Mrug

M, Lyons LA, Weimbs T. Ketosis Ameliorates Renal Cyst Growth in Polycystic

Kidney Disease. Cell Metab. 2019 Dec 3;30(6):1007-1023.e5. doi:

10.1016/j.cmet.2019.09.012. Epub 2019 Oct 17. PMID: 31631001; PMCID: PMC6904245.


21: Mattucci F, Galaverni M, Lyons LA, Alves PC, Randi E, Velli E, Pagani L,

Caniglia R. Genomic approaches to identify hybrids and estimate admixture times

in European wildcat populations. Sci Rep. 2019 Aug 12;9(1):11612. doi:

10.1038/s41598-019-48002-w. PMID: 31406125; PMCID: PMC6691104.




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